Learn and Generate Bibliographies, Citations, and Works Cited

Chicago Author-Date Citations for Websites and Social Media


Creating entries in Chicago 17 author-date style is easier than the notes-biblio style, including for websites and other online sources. The notes-biblio style works well for research papers where you need to give your reader a lot of background information. However, the author-date style works better for research papers when you simply want to direct the reader to the source by providing the name of the work’s creator and the publication date.

In most social sciences, as well as natural and physical sciences, the author-date style is the best way to go. Instead of developing a bibliography of all the works consulted, you will create a reference list of actual sources used in your research.

Citation generator

Citing Web Pages

For your Chicago author-date style paper, you will want to follow these guidelines when citing websites. Be sure to keep the order of elements in mind as you collect the source information.

Order of Elements

Create reference list entries for web pages by using these elements:

  1. Author
  2. Publication date
  3. Title of page
  4. Title of site
  5. Owner of the site
  6. Add the URL or DOI at the end of the entry. Add https://doi.org to DOIs.
  7. Place a period at the end.

Undated Source

If you cannot find a publication date, use n.d. and include the date you accessed the source. Otherwise, you do not need to add the access date. As well, if you are using a source that is updated often, you may use a timestamp, if available.


World Oral Literature Project. n.d. “Endangered Languages Database: Introduction to Resource and Terms of Use.” Accessed May 27, 2019. http://www.oralliterature.org/research/databaseterms.html.

No Author Listed

List the owner, creator or website name in the entry, if there is no author.


Book Industry Study Group. 2016. “BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing.” March 6.  BISG. https://www.bisg.org/publications/bisq-quick-start-guide-accessible-publishing.

Citing Blogs

student citing references Chicago Author-Date

Include blog posts and comments within the text of your school research paper. If you feel a blog post reference is important to your argument, you may include a reference list entry. Blog comments, on the other hand, are incorporated within the text.


Ehrenkranz, Melanie. 2019. “Tesla IS Blocking Its Employees From Accessing an Anonymous Social Network for Workplace Complaints”. Gizmodo. June 4, 2019. https://gizmodo.com/tesla-is-blocking-its-employees-from-accessing-an-anony-1835238737

Note: If the blog post is within a larger organization such as Los Angeles Times, include (blog) after the title.


Social Media Post Entries

Treat social media posts the same way as blog posts. Cite these posts in the text unless you feel it’s critical to your research. Then, add a reference list entry.

Best Practices for Online Research

Using online sources is an important part of research. However, make sure the website you are using for your Chicago style format paper is developed by a reputable organization. If the URL ends in .edu or .gov, feel assured it is reputable. Organizations, such as non-profits, may use .org, which is considered reputable.

If the website you are citing is from a well-established news source such as Time Magazine or the New York Times, you can feel comfortable, too. However, if you’re unsure, do some research first, particularly with political websites.

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